Kerstin Blodig's fascination for music started at an early age. She grew up listening to classical music before going on to take recorder and piano lessons. Parallel to this she was always singing, and became a member of various choirs, later a bluegrass band and her first Celtic project, the Scottish band "Siobhra", where she developed further skills on guitar, mandoline and bouzouki.
After school she studied musicology and Scandinavian languages and cultures in Berlin (Germany) and in Bergen (Norway), with particular emphasis on Norwegian folk music.
Today she tours all over the world with a wide variety of different projects, ranging from studio work and theatre-music productions to the Celtic groups Touchwood with Belfast musician Cristina Crawley, Talking Water and Norland Wind (featuring Thomas Loefke and Clannad-members Padraig and Noel Duggan). She cultivates her Norwegian roots not only in the band project "Valivann", but also in her solo performances and with the duo "Kelpie" featuring the Scottish guitarist Ian Melrose.
Kerstin Blodigs band project "VALIVANN"
Rhythmic Ballads from Both Sides of the North Sea
The sea with its mysterious depths, its vast breadth and its breathtaking power has always fascinated generations of people and provided the inspiration for countless tales and legends. The North Sea is the geographical link between the two seafaring nations Norway and Scotland, which are also bound together by countless historical connections. Trading and invasions have not only brought forth similarities in speech and dialects, but have also led to strong cultural ties, particularly evident in the area of folk music.
One of the principal ideas behind the project Valivann is to feature the striking similarity between Celtic and Scandinavian ballads, particularly the thematic content of the lyrics. The two songs "Horpa" and "The Cruel Sister" are the prime examples of how the same theme has been developed in both Norwegian and Scottish cultures.
Valivann has combined a subjective choice of favourite lyrics with original and traditional melodies to create an exciting nordic ethno-cocktail: a crystal-clear voice floating over a lush carpet of hard-edged rhythms, samples and acoustic instruments.
Kerstin's partner on this project was Mick Franke, one of the founding members of the innovative seventies German folk group Fidel Michel. He later became the guitarist, producer and co-writer of German rock star Heinz Rudolf Kunze. As well as producing artists on his own label (Slow Motion Records), he recorded with many well-known artists and was one of the pioneers of DVD techniques in Europe. His tragic death in April 2001 meant that he sadly could not be there to celebrate the release of this CD. Kerstin has dedicated this album to his memory.
vocals, guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, bodhran, keyboards, psaltry
programming, percussion, bass, electric guitar, bouzouki, keyboards, vocals, kalimba